Autumn 2022: SpokenWord at the Chat Noir every Monday. AWOL writers’ workshop every Sunday.

SpokenWord Paris is one pole of a nomadic tribe of people who love poetry, writing and song. A home for creatives and lost anglophones. We do an open mic night called SpokenWord every Monday at the Chat Noir and an allied writers’ workshop every Sunday. We do a literary journal called The Bastille and Tightrope Books published many of us in the book “Strangers in Paris.” Click on the blue stamp on the right to sign up to the mailing list – if it doesn’t work send an email asking to be put on the mailing list to db1066 @ Our Facebook page.

Open mic/scène ouverte: Performance poetry. Lire vivant. Poésie sonore. Stand up. Monologue. Stories. Beat poetry. Spoken word. English. Français. Your own original texts. Old texts from Rimbaud to Dr Seuss, Beowulf to Gil Scott-Heron. Chacun a son mot à dire. Make the words come alive. Acoustic songs also welcome.

Poetry video clips on our instagram at spokenword_paris

SpokenWord Sounds
A taste of Monday nights at the Chat Noir, by Victor. Listen or download here.

Every Monday except August. Come to the Chat Noir, 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud 75011. Métro Parmentier/Couronnes. Sign up at 8pm in the bar. Poetics start 8.45pm underground. More info here. Paris’ biggest and longest-running English open mic night, started in 2006. All languages welcome. 

Check next week’s theme here. Themes are a suggestion to inspire you but you don’t have to follow them. Indeed, many people don’t.

AWOL writers’ workshop

AWOL normally takes place every Sunday evening, 5pm – 7pm at the Chat Noir (76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011). AWOL’s facebook page. Free. Bring your writing or just come and listen and join in the discussion. Hosted by Bruce Sherfield, Simon Millward, Thibaut Narme and Camille Adnot. Friendly and insightful and afterwards you’re welcome to come for a drink. In a previous incarnation this ran for 10 years as The Other Writers Group and AWOL continues that group’s ethos of giving invaluable insightful feedback and providing a supportive space to hone your writing craft. Plus community among writers. Click here for a more detailed description.

Spoken World Online

This open mic is weekly on Tuesdays, an online version of what we do in the Chat Noir, and is hosted by David Leo Sirois. It’s on Zoom. More info at the Spoken World Online Facebook group.

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Rufo Quintavalle is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris. October 3rd! Monday’s Theme: TAXIDERMY

Rufo Quintavalle was born in London in 1978, studied at Oxford and the University of Iowa and now lives in Paris. He is the author of ten books of poetry, the most recent of which, Shelf, is a line-by-line rewrite of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”. He has taught creative writing at NYU Paris, has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and in 2019 was chosen to represent Paris in the final of the Trans Europe Expression Poetry Slam. Rufo is also an actor; you can see him in Coldhearts: a poetical and Les passagers de la nuit which premiered at the 2022 Berlin Film Festival. He is currently working on the Apple TV+ series, The New Look.

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Anthony Thomas Lombardi is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris, September 26th! Monday’s Theme: CHANGE

Anthony Thomas Lombardi is a Pushcart-nominated poet, editor, organizer, and educator. He is the founder and director of Word is Bond, a community-centered reading series partnered with the Asian American Writers’ Workshop that raises funds for transnational relief efforts, bail funds, and mutual aid organizations, and currently serves as a poetry editor for Sundog Lit. He has taught for Borough of Manhattan Community College, Brooklyn Poets, Polyphony Lit’s Summer Editorial Apprenticeship Program, and community programming throughout New York City. A recipient of the Poetry Project’s Emerge-Surface-Be Fellowship, his work has appeared or will soon in the Poetry Foundation’s Ours Poetica, Guernica, Black Warrior Review, Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, North American Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn with his cat, Dilla.

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SpokenWord at the Chat Noir Sept 5th 2022

Theme – la rentrée/the Return

As always the theme is there to inspire you, and if it doesn’t then feel free to ignore it.

the return to? the return from? the return of? what exactly was/has/will be returned?


back to Paris and the Chat Noir after a summer of wandering, wondering, scheming and squandering? after a summer of adventure, misadventure or just… things to put down to experience and never do again?

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Next SpokenWord at the Chat Noir? Monday 5th September. Meanwhile AWOL writers’ workshop continues every Sunday in July and August.

For more info see post pinned to top of thread.

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Chris Burke is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris July 18th! Monday’s Theme: SHOCKS

Chris Burke is an English-Irish writer whose debut collection of poetry, The Noise of Everything at Once,was published by Happy House Books in 2017. He won second prize in the 2020 Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition and has been longlisted multiple times in the UK National Poetry Competition, while his works have appeared in magazines including Southword, Antiphon, Prole and the French Literary Review. He also leads a second life as a journalist, reporting on football in France and around Europe.

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Janine Booth is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris July 11th! Monday’s Theme: HOPE

Janine Booth is a ranting, rhyming, revolting poet, recently relocated from London to the South Downs. She delivers poetry formal and free, serious and silly, political and personal. Janine`s work has been published in numerous journals and anthologies, and in several books of her own poetry. She performs around the UK and beyond, at poetry nights, festivals, picket lines and the monthly Spoken Word Lewes.

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Yazmin Monet Watkins is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris July 4th + Special Musical Guest Dominique Toney! Monday’s Theme: QUEER

+ Special Musical Guest DOMINIQUE TONEY

Yazmin Monet Watkins is a poet, comedian, writer, actress, educator and organizer. Touring her intimate yet political poetry from Obama’s White House to Johannesburg, and empowering students from Harvard to youth prisons, Watkins’ body of work weaves art and activism, exploring the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, self-love and all things Black Girl Magic. A Posse scholar and a graduate of Dickinson College, Watkins’ work combines art and activism, providing critical artistic outlets for audiences to self advocate and heal. Watkins has developed pilots with Netflix and Comedy Central alongside Paul Downs, Lucia Aniello and her all Black female comedy group, Obama’s Other Daughters. You can see their work on their Comedy Central show and their Shondaland podcast You Down? Watkins serves as the co-chair of the Arts & Culture committee for Black Lives Matter Los Angeles. Once Beyoncé said she liked her hair.

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Nina Zivancevic is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris June 27th! Monday’s Theme: BULLSHIT

Poet, essayist, fiction writer, playwright, art critic, translator, Serbian-born Nina Zivancevic published 17 books of poetry. She has also written three books of short stories, two novels and 2 books of essays published in Paris, New York and Belgrade. The recipient of many literary awards, a former assistant to Allen Ginsberg, she has also co-edited numerous anthologies of contemporary world poetry. She has contributed to New York Arts Magazine, Modern Painters, American Book Review, East Village Eye, Republique de lettres. She has lectured at Naropa University, New York University and the Harriman Institute in the U.S., she has taught British studies at La Sorbonne and the History of Avant-garde Theatre at Paris 8 University in France.She has actively worked for theatre ( with the “Living Theatre”in NYC) and radio( 4 of her plays were emitted in the U.S. and Great Britain). She lives and works in Paris.

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Tonight Wednesday 22nd at L’Impasse poetry from David Barnes, songs from Kristina Vaughan, followed by an open mic

Unfortunately Sophia has Covid and can’t perform because she might still be contagious.

So… this event will now include an OPEN MIC section, as announced at SpokenWord on Monday.

The open mic will follow the sets by David Barnes (poetry from his forthcoming book) and Kristina Vaughan (songs from her first and forthcoming second album, plus a few covers).

Sign up for the open mic from 7pm at L’Impasse, 4 cité Griset, round the corner from the Chat Noir. Métro Ménilmontant or Parmentier.

Free event (we’ll pass the hat).

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William Strangmeyer is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris June 20th! Monday’s Theme: MISSING

William Walrond Strangmeyer was born in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1945 and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he went to Rutgers University, studying classics, music and psychology, on which he declined to follow up or to practice. He has worked in many different fields of endeavor, including amusement parks, banks, book stores, cinema, door-to-door sales (like Abbott and Costello), poker games, restaurants, taxi driving and warehouses. A forty-five-year resident of Paris, he now earns his living as an English language trainer and translator. He is the former co-editor of Upstairs at Duroc. He is the author of several volumes of poetry (all slim) and has given readings too endemic to cite around Paris, but also in the States. His other principal interests are various forms of combat sports and old music (doo-wop, Gregorian chant, hippie music, Czerny). He is Archon of Paris for the Moorish Orthodox Church and a member of various other organizations embracing a few essential beliefs and having even fewer doctrines and eschews the party of Evil. 

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